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Hispanic bar association, Mensa honor UC Davis professors

February 14, 2012

University of California, Davis, faculty members recently received top honors from the Hispanic National Bar Association and Mensa. In addition, the California Invasive Plant Council recognized a UC Davis expert in weed control.

The bar association presented its highest honor, the Lincoln-Juarez Award, to Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso, recognizing him as “a lifelong trailblazer who is dedicated to helping those of humble beginnings have access to the legal system.”

Reynoso joined the law school faculty in 2001 and was the first to hold the Boochever and Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality.

From civil rights attorney representing California farmworkers, Reynoso rose to become an associate justice of California’s 3rd District Court of Appeal and the state Supreme Court. President Clinton appointed him to the Commission on Civil Rights and subsequently presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Reynoso co-founded the Hispanic National Bar Association, which named its highest award after Abraham Lincoln and Benito Juarez, the presidents of the United States and Mexico, contemporaries, both lawyers who fought injustice.

Psychology professor Dean Simonton and one of his former graduate students, Anna V. Song, shared the 2011 Mensa Award for Excellence in Research. Song is now an assistant professor at UC Merced.

Mensa International Ltd., whose goals include fostering human intelligence for the benefit of humanity, joined with the Mensa Education and Research Foundation in honoring Simonton and Song for their study, “Eminence, IQ, Physical and Mental Health and Achievement Domain: Cox’s 282 Geniuses Revisited,” published in 2009 in Psychological Science.

The California Invasive Plant Council presented its highest honor to Joe DiTomaso, a Davis-based UC Cooperative Extension specialist who serves as director of the UC Weed Research and Information Center.

DiTomaso helped establish the state council in 1992. Over the years, he has provided “extremely valuable resources, tools and books for land managers in California and beyond, and for helping guide Cal-IPC in many endeavors,” the council declared in giving him the Jake Sigg Award for Vision and Dedicated Service.

Cal-IPC, in cooperation with other nonprofit organizations, as well as industry and government agencies, works to protect California’s land and water from invasive plants through science, education and policy.

DiTomaso is a fellow of the Weed Science Society of America and editor-in-chief of the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

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